• Wolfgang
    55
    Why don’t classical and quantum physics go together? Are we dealing with two different worlds or are they just two different descriptions?

    A world or a universe can only have one physics. It can hardly be assumed that different laws of nature prevail in the microcosm described by quantum physics than in the mesocosm or macrocosm, for which classical physics is responsible.

    Let’s assume that there are two kinds of laws of nature, one made by nature, the other by us humans. The two are not identical. This means that ‘our’ laws of nature describe nature as we see it. This description is best achieved in the mesocosm with which we are familiar. We are adapted to this by evolution and are able to create rules with the help of which we can understand the mesoscopic world. By creating our laws of nature, we formulate, as it were, a (mesoscopic) ontology of the world.

    So you can say that the phenomenology of the mesoscopic world leads to an ontology in classical physics. In the microscopic world, this ontology does not succeed, one remains in a phenomenological description in the form of statistics, because our mesoscopic measuring instruments do not correspond to the microscopic scales.

    Quantum mechanical phenomena such as the “spooky action at a distance” indicate that at the lowest level, the world must be seen as a coherent field. The field is not an ontological concept, but a phenomenological one. If we were as small as a photon, we could formulate an ontology of the very smallest. And only then would there be a unified physical theory.

    Therefore, conversely, it makes no sense to try to apply quantum mechanics to the macroscopic world — and this also applies to philosophical conclusions. For this reason, structural realist considerations based on quantum mechanical considerations, such as those of John Worrall, are pointless. One would want to justify a (macroscopic) ontology with a (microscopic) phenomenology.

    Against this background, a unification of classical and quantum physics is therefore not possible, unless new laws are found on both sides and categorically unified.

    To achieve this, it would have to be possible to ascribe properties to matter, whatever we want to understand by that. In the mesoscopic world, this is easy for us to do by characterizing a molecule, for example. At the quantum level, where we speak of fields, properties can no longer be ontologically assigned to individual particles, because they appear to us both as particles and as waves.

    The properties of matter are therefore not intrinsic, but they are an attribution made by us, no matter which interpretation of quantum mechanics we use.

    The question of what holds the world together at its core — and by this we actually mean what makes up the world in the smallest — is wrongly posed, because there is no innermost that we can ontologically label with properties.

    So we take two looks at the world, a quasi-ontological one at the mesoworld and a phenomenological one at the microworld.

    The same applies accordingly to the macro world of the cosmos. Again, we observe phenomena for which we cannot create an ontology, starting with the Big Bang.

    So the world is relativistic for us. Thus, the Kantian ‘thing-in-itself’ does not exist. In the Critique of Pure Reason, however, Kant still described the thing-in-itself as recognizable in the sense of the essence of things. Later, he described it as unrecognizable. In the earlier version, therefore, it resembles the being that Husserl meant in the context of his view of nature, which is to be achieved by the method of eidetic reduction.

    This reduction to the essentials is therefore the starting point of any ontology that we can establish. And we can — as far as possible — assign properties to this essence, at least in the mesoscopic world.
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    A world or a universe can only have one physics. It can hardly be assumed that different laws of nature prevail in the microcosm described by quantum physics than in the mesocosm or macrocosm, for which classical physics is responsible.Wolfgang

    How is this a valid assumption? The hypothesized unified force shattered into the four fundamental forces, resulting in the stratification of effects between the quantum and the cosmic, owing to the different scales at which different forces predominate. There is an apparent phase transition between the quantum and the classical which is not well understood. Also, it is invalid to conclude that it makes no sense to apply quantum mechanics to the classical world. There are natural macroscopic processes that function through quantum effects. The transistor utilizes quantum properties. One could argue that the modern era is an expression of quantum-aware ontology.
  • Wolfgang
    55
    The transfer of the quantum world to the mesoworld meant philosophy, not technology, example structural realism. Please read carefully!
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    Hmm. I just looked up structural realism, and it is the exact opposite of a concept I've been in the process of describing in another thread concerning the nature of the concrete. So I suppose that is my whole problem, I don't understand your fundamental assumption. Scientifically, it seems to boil down to what I said describing the actual nature of reality in a way that contradicts your descriptions.
  • jgill
    3.5k
    According to John Fernee QM is entirely deterministic (Schrödinger's Wave Equation). Cause and effect. It's in measurement that things seem non-traditional.
  • Relativist
    2.1k
    Does Fernee embrace a Many-Worlds Interpretation of QM?
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.8k



    This, or maybe a Bohm-de Broglie guy, retrocausal, or one of the new "super determinism" types (who I've never quite wrapped my mind around)?

    The problem I see with claims that QM actually is deterministic is that it's like saying it is computable. These are completely open questions.

    Lately I've considered that it is retrocausality that most keeps our image of the classical world down to micro scales. You get locality, realism, basically classical mechanics, just at the cost of future events being involved in the actualization of past ones. Not bad if the alternative is a pleroma of infinite worlds.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    The claim that the schrodinger equation is deterministic is independent of the claim that quantum physics itself, as a whole, is deterministic. Every physicist agrees that the schrodinger equation is deterministic, even physicists who then go on to say "... but I believe in an interpretation of quantum physics where collapse is random".

    That the schrodinger equation is deterministic is not a question - there's unanimous agreement by relevant experts there. It's what happens on/after measurement that people disagree on.

    (And there's some disagreement on how ontologically real the schrodinger equation and the "probability" waves it governs are).
  • EricH
    575
    Every physicist agrees that the schrodinger equation is deterministic”

    Not sure about that

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics#Comparison_of_interpretations
  • flannel jesus
    777
    That's a long article, care to point out where the physicists in there disagree that the *schrodinger equation* in particular isn't deterministic?
  • Relativist
    2.1k
    The problem I see with claims that QM actually is deterministic is that it's like saying it is computable.Count Timothy von Icarus
    It's at least probabalistically deterministic, and a pure state quantum system is fully deterministic.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.8k


    I'm not sure what he is referring to but if collapse/decoherence is real (not a limit in possible observation, but an ontic change) then the Schrodinger Equation, while describing deterministic evolution, is describing part of a phenomenon that is stochastic. Some people do indeed interpret collapse as an actual ontic event, and this would have major implications for both the symmetry of time down to the smallest scales and how we think about what the Schrodinger Equation describes.

    A common complaint against this position is that collapse is "ad hoc," that it doesn't follow from the Schrodinger Equation, but this seems like a pretty weak argument. The one was developed to explain empirical observations and the other is an empirical observation that the explanatory model simply fails to explain.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    I'm not sure what he is referring toCount Timothy von Icarus

    I believe that he was confusing a statement about the schrodinger equation specifically with a statement about quantum mechanics as a whole, which is why he linked me to a page full of interpretations of quantum mechanics as a whole after I made a statement about the schrodinger equation specifically.

    The schrodinger equation is as deteterminstic as the equation y = x^2. The various interpretations of QM don't disagree with *that specific statement about that specific equation*.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Most people do not understand that the English description of quantum mechanics is not the same as the mathematic description of quantum mechanics. Unless you are a scientist yourself and have a fundamental understanding of the math, and what this really means, you really have no business using it in any philosophy.

    In sum, quantum mechanics is a math based on limitations in measurements and probability. As you noted a "field" or "wave" is a mathematical entity that is often confused with a physical reality. Its a metaphor in English. When examining the ocean, we don't calculate every single molecule of water. Its unnecessary. Does that mean that ocean waves are not made up of molecules? No. But for what we're calculating, its easier. This is the same thing as measuring light as a wave vs as a particle. For some experiments and circumstances, its better to calculate light as particles than waves. Are waves of life comprised of particles? Of course. But in those circumstances in math, its just better to calculate it as a wave.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    If I presented this post to most experts in QM, I do not believe that many would agree with it. A small minority might.

    Your first paragraph, maybe - that's probably actually mostly (maybe entirely) correct. Your second paragraph, however, would probably be a great example of why your first paragraph is true.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    No objection there. :D I had considered the very same thing before hitting the post button.
  • EricH
    575
    “Features common to Copenhagen-type interpretations include the idea that quantum mechanics is intrinsically indeterministic,”

    Just scroll down to the section on Copenhagen
  • flannel jesus
    777
    I think you misunderstood my request. Your reply is still talking about qm as a whole, and not the Schrödinger equation in particular.

    I know many interpretations involve qm being indeterministic, and if you take the time to read my initial post again you'll see I explicitly acknowledge that.
  • EricH
    575
    Seems like hair splitting to me - the equation is deterministic but when you use it the results aren't. But OK.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    You replied to a post of mine about the schrodinger equation. It's not hair splitting for me to say that my claim about that particular equation is only a claim about that particular equation -- it's not hair splitting for someone to clarify the scope of their own claim. I have the right to decide the scope of my own claims. You aren't hair splitting enough with the way you've been replying. You could do to split more hairs.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    According to John Fernee QM is entirely deterministic (Schrödinger's Wave Equation). Cause and effect. It's in measurement that things seem non-traditional.jgill
    Yes. That's why the quantum pioneers concluded that the conscious mind doing the sub-atomic measuring may have deterministic physical effects*1. Not due to Magical powers, but to something they have in common. Today, that something is typically known as "Information", especially in the form of causal Energy*2 and mental Entention*3. That notion is still in the early stages, and has not yet become scientific doctrine. But it is interesting fodder for philosophical speculation.

    For those who are not afraid to conjecture into the unknown, such explorations may be called "quantum mysticism" or "quantum philosophy", depending on your attitude toward projecting what we know into the unknown. Nobel physicist Roger Penrose*1 is just one of many theorists who are pushing the boundaries of physics & psychology & math into uncharted territory, perhaps harboring strange "influences". :nerd:


    *1. Quantum mind :
    Eugene Wigner developed the idea that quantum mechanics has something to do with the workings of the mind. He proposed that the wave function collapses due to its interaction with consciousness . . . .

    These scientific hypotheses are as yet unvalidated, and they can overlap with quantum mysticism. . . .

    Penrose suggested that objective reduction represents neither randomness nor algorithmic processing but instead a non-computable influence in spacetime geometry from which mathematical understanding and, by later extension, consciousness derives.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind

    *2. Information is Energy :
    This book defines a dynamic concept of information that results in a conservation of information principle. Just as the principle of conservation of energy is essential to understanding energy, the principle of conservation of information leads to a deeper understanding of information.
    https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-658-40862-6[/i].

    *3. Entention : an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action
  • EricH
    575
    Why don’t classical and quantum physics go together?Wolfgang
    Classical and quantum physics go together quite well. You can read a very technical discussion here (which I don't pretend to fully understand) - but the essence of this is that "So after averaging out the quantum-behaviour you just get classical mechanics."

    Now if you're looking for things which don't go together, one of the biggest unsolved problems in physics is the inability to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity,

    But perhaps I'm not following you.
  • EricH
    575
    apologies if that came across as a personal criticism - not my attention. I just skimmed your post and missed your distinction.

    Other than that- see my response to the OP.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    Quantum mechanical phenomena such as the “spooky action at a distance” indicate that at the lowest level, the world must be seen as a coherent field. The field is not an ontological conceptWolfgang

    I'm taking this to mean that in your mind, the field doesn't really exist, but is instead just an artifact of our models.

    The ontological realness of these fields is certainly open to question, and there's no unanimous answer I think among the relevant experts, but it is a very serious idea that they ARE real, perhaps more fundamentally real than even the particles themselves, and many many experts are realists about this field. You may decide for yourself personally, if you like, that you don't think the fields have ontological existence, but you should still at least take the idea seriously and accept the reality they many experts think they are real.
  • Wolfgang
    55
    Maybe read my post here (https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/14959/epistemology-anthropic-relativism) then you will understand my epistemological position.
    Furthermore, I assume that we are the ones who interpret the world using our neural means. So there is no 'objective' ontology.
    The ontology that we are able to construct leads to the classical physics of the mesocosm. The microworld is 'too small' for us to be able to construct an ontology that is adequate for us.
    Both classical and quantum phasic are constructions. In classical physics it takes the form of an ontology; in quantum physics it remains phenomenology.
  • flannel jesus
    777
    So then why are you saying that the quantum field is not an ontological concept? How would you know? It seems like you should just be entirely agnostic about it, if your position is that "the microworld is 'too small' for us to be able to construct an ontology that is adequate for us". That would justify the statement "I have no idea if quantum fields are ontological or not", not the statement "quantum fields are decidedly not ontological".
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    According to John Fernee QM is entirely deterministic (Schrödinger's Wave Equation). Cause and effect. It's in measurement that things seem non-traditional.jgill
    Many thinkers have pondered "what causes the difference" between Classical (deterministic) Mechanics and Quantum (probabilistic) Statistics? The Quora explanation below*1 --- probably unintentionally --- suggests that the "non-traditional" difference may lie in a Holistic vs Particularistic*2 approach to understanding. My peculiar (philosophical) interpretation of the paradox is that the elusive quantum particle is normally "entangled" in a functional integrated System, which must be forced to "collapse" in order to reveal one isolated part of the whole complex.

    But what is it about Measurement that pops the balloon? My personal unorthodox guess is that Measurement (root : mensura ; mens = mind) is an extraction of Information, which as noted in my previous post, is a form of Energy/Force*3. Integrated Information Theory (IIT) postulates that real world objects are collections of particles that are held together by some "force" similar to Gravity (gluons?) into a cohesive organization : a whole system with new functions in addition to those of the constituent parts*4. If that is the case, and if Information is a form of Energy (causation), then probing a sub-atomic system looking for particular answers, may disrupt the structural unity of the system --- like removing a single card from a card tower --- and reveal its components as they fall apart.

    You may be able to suggest a more statistical analogy pointing to the same "collapse" effect. For me, this is just a philosophical footnote on the broader application of Holistic (general to specific) Deduction. :nerd:



    *1. Quantum mechanics is non-deterministic because it has to incorporate two incompatible properties into one whole.
    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-quantum-physics-not-deterministic

    *2. Holism :
    the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to mental states, language, and ecology. ___Oxford Dictionary

    *3. Information is Energy :
    Energy is the relationship between information regimes. That is, energy is manifested, at any level, between structures, processes and systems
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/22084/how-is-information-related-to-energy-in-physics

    *4. Holism is the interdisciplinary idea that systems possess properties as wholes apart from the properties of their component parts. ___Wikipedia

    360_F_124732622_I19K6vaQK1oKgQJlHypRuBFd2eqt1Bc9.jpg
  • Arne
    687
    Therefore, conversely, it makes no sense to try to apply quantum mechanics to the macroscopic world — and this also applies to philosophical conclusions.Wolfgang

    The transfer of the quantum world to the mesoworld meant philosophy, not technology,Wolfgang

    The above statements strike me as inconsistent. The first seems to include more than philosophy (perhaps science and/or technology?) while the second seems to exclude all but philosophy (including science and/or technology?).

    And what is the demarcation line between science/technology/philosophy? And if working technology (transistors as an example) does rely upon both, then does that not have significant philosophical implications?

    Please advise.


  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    In sum, quantum mechanics is a math based on limitations in measurements and probability. As you noted a "field" or "wave" is a mathematical entity that is often confused with a physical reality. Its a metaphor in English. When examining the ocean, we don't calculate every single molecule of water. Its unnecessary. Does that mean that ocean waves are not made up of molecules? No. But for what we're calculating, its easier. This is the same thing as measuring light as a wave vs as a particle. For some experiments and circumstances, its better to calculate light as particles than waves. Are waves of life comprised of particles? Of course. But in those circumstances in math, its just better to calculate it as a wave.Philosophim
    That's a good summary of the quantum quandary. The arcane math accurately predicts the results of chemical processes, but the "reality", of both the invisible particles and the intangible waves, is hard to imagine. As you noted, both are analogies to common sense experience on the macro level of reality. And even the notion of Entanglement may be simply an analogy to the well known Holistic functions of complex systems*1. Metaphorical analogies are too often "confused" with the Material objects they refer back to.

    The Santa Fe Institute*2 for the study of Complexity was established by quantum scientists (e.g. Murray Gell-Mann) among others, specifically to research the mysteries of complex physical systems, in which the contributions of parts may be subordinated to those of the system as whole. As you noted above, it's sometimes easier to calculate the behavior of a whole system than to track the zillions of dissolved parts (e.g. sea water & salt). The system label (e.g. cellular automata*3) may be an as-if metaphor to cover the interactive functions of uncountable physical elements.

    I mention the use of holistic methods by scientific experts, because my philosophical use of the term "Holism" on this forum is often confused with, and condemned as, New Age religious beliefs about unseen spiritual realities. Despite that Reductive defense against Holistic models, we need to emulate the quantum pioneers --- who at first were baffled by the counter-intuitive, and contra-classical, evidence of quantized systems and entangled behaviors --- but eventually got on with their job of revealing the underlying roots of Reality. :smile:


    *1. Holistic view in Complex Systems :
    By adopting a holistic perspective of complex systems, the system rule enables us to navigate the intricate interdependencies and dynamics within them.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/system-thinking-rules-3-rule-holistic-view-complex-m/

    *2. Santa Fe Institute :
    . . . . the scientific knowledge that is associated with dynamic processes contains an amazingly rich variety of interconnections, involving distinct forms and levels of understanding. This variety of forms of dynamic knowledge, which is presently largely unrecognized, will be demonstrated via recent specific technical examples. It will be seen in these examples that the understandings (relationships) that have been discovered all have holistic characteristics. Moreover, their holistic qualities are unique in each case---in this sense, they are “emergent discoveries.” This suggests the future understanding of complex systems will involve the common activity of discovering new holistic forms of relationships.
    https://www.santafe.edu/research/results/working-papers/scientific-understanding-of-dynamic-phenomena-anal
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Institute

    *3. Automata :
    a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being.
    ___Oxford
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